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Payment Of Organists Abroad


Guest Psalm 78 v.67
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Guest Psalm 78 v.67

This may have been covered elsewhere, but cannot immediately see where.

 

I have a 2nd home in France, and the last 2 weeks and this coming Sunday am playing for Mass, at the request of the 90 year old lady organist. I have done this for several years now. Everyone, including the priest, is very appreciative, but no mention has ever been made of payment. This is not a problem in the short term, but as our long term plans are to be here permenantly, I would expect to derive at least a minimal income from playing, as I do at home.

 

Does anyone know what happens generally in France? Do Cathedrals pay? Can i expect anything from a smallish parish?

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This may have been covered elsewhere, but cannot immediately see where.

 

I have a 2nd home in France, and the last 2 weeks and this coming Sunday am playing for Mass, at the request of the 90 year old lady organist. I have done this for several years now. Everyone, including the priest, is very appreciative, but no mention has ever been made of payment. This is not a problem in the short term, but as our long term plans are to be here permenantly, I would expect to derive at least a minimal income from playing, as I do at home.

 

Does anyone know what happens generally in France? Do Cathedrals pay? Can i expect anything from a smallish parish?

 

 

From experience, the French parishes don't usually pay much, if anything. Organists generally are looked upon as members of the"great unwashed" like the servers, flower ladies etc, and are expected to do things out of the love of it, as fully paid up Catholics. I'm not sure if the bigger French Cathedrals pay anything - I would imagine that places like Notre-Dame de Paris probably do.

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  • 2 weeks later...
From experience, the French parishes don't usually pay much, if anything. Organists generally are looked upon as members of the"great unwashed" like the servers, flower ladies etc, and are expected to do things out of the love of it, as fully paid up Catholics. I'm not sure if the bigger French Cathedrals pay anything - I would imagine that places like Notre-Dame de Paris probably do.

 

I have just noticed this.

 

You are quite correct. The titulaires at Nôtre-Dame de Paris each receive very little. Cochereau used to say that his 'salary' just about kept him supplied with cigarrettes. There are only two full-time posts in Paris: that of Titulaire of the Orgue-du-Choeur, Nôtre-Dame de Paris (Yves Castagnet) and that of Titulaire at Nôtre-Dame d'Auteil (Frédéric Blanc - formerly Titulaire, S. Sernin, Toulouse).

 

In the provinces, things are even worse. The Titulaire Adjointe at S. Etienne, Caen (M. Alain Mabit) receives precisely nothing.

 

I can only assume that the French authorities view that the kudos of being able to put Titulaire des Grandes Orgues de Nôtre-Dame de Paris* on one's business cards is adequate recompense.

 

 

 

* Along with two other people....

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I have just noticed this.

 

You are quite correct. The titulaires at Nôtre-Dame de Paris each receive very little. Cochereau used to say that his 'salary' just about kept him supplied with cigarrettes. There are only two full-time posts in Paris: that of Titulaire of the Orgue-du-Choeur, Nôtre-Dame de Paris (Yves Castagnet) and that of Titulaire at Nôtre-Dame d'Auteil (Frédéric Blanc - formerly Titulaire, S. Sernin, Toulouse).

 

In the provinces, things are even worse. The Titulaire Adjointe at S. Etienne, Caen (M. Alain Mabit) receives precisely nothing.

 

I can only assume that the French authorities view that the kudos of being able to put Titulaire des Grandes Orgues de Nôtre-Dame de Paris* on one's business cards is adequate recompense.

* Along with two other people....

 

I get about the same level of pay, but without the kudos........! Thank goodness I don't smoke cigarettes. :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
This may have been covered elsewhere, but cannot immediately see where.

 

I have a 2nd home in France, and the last 2 weeks and this coming Sunday am playing for Mass, at the request of the 90 year old lady organist. I have done this for several years now. Everyone, including the priest, is very appreciative, but no mention has ever been made of payment. This is not a problem in the short term, but as our long term plans are to be here permenantly, I would expect to derive at least a minimal income from playing, as I do at home.

 

Does anyone know what happens generally in France? Do Cathedrals pay? Can i expect anything from a smallish parish?

 

I live in a village of 300 souls and which has a spectacular pilgrimage Abbatiale. The organ is one of France's best and I am just glad that I am allowed freedom to play it and record it. Remuneration in the form of a glass (full) is welcome yet frequently it is I who pays the bill for having such a privilege afforded me. Finances and France are fickle. But, there would be no harm in making general enquires as to the way organists are paid and produce what happens in other parts of the world. Ascertain if the resident organist gets paid and what the normal fees are in France for weddings/funerals/Mass. Draw parallels and glean the necessary knowledge without putting both pieds in it at the outset. I have found that French musical and parochial friendship is priceless.

 

All best wishes,

Nigel

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